North East boxing star Bradley Saunders is set for an bill-topping appearance at Newcastle next year.
Unbeaten North East fighter Bradley Saunders will headline a massive show with Britain’s rising heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua at the Newcastle Arena on April 4.
That was the sensational news released by top London promoter Eddie Hearn at a St James’ Park Press conference to announce that Saunders has joined Matchroom’s stable of world champions.
And the plan is to fast-track Saunders to a world light welterweight title fight which would also be held in Newcastle, an old boxing venue that Hearn is to revive with regular top shows in the future.
It’s significant enough that Saunders will appear under the Hearn banner in early April, but to have the big-punching Joshua, undoubtedly Britain’s next world heavyweight champion, on Tyneside will lead to a sell-out.
“Bradley is one of the most exciting prospects in world boxing never mind British boxing,” Hearn told me. “We’ve been looking for new markets and Newcastle has been on our radar for a long time, as has Saunders. Now we’re bringing the two together and it should be a beneficial partnership.
“Bradley is the new flag bearer for the North East and the other pro boxers up here should take advantage of us moving into Newcastle to put themselves on the bills remembering we have a TV deal with Sky. “Bradley will appear on the Cleverly-Bellew bill at the Liverpool Arena on November 22 along with the likes of George Groves, James De Gale and Anthony Joshua then we’ll have him out again either in Manchester during January or Berlin in February.
“However, it’s all geared to a big show at the Newcastle Arena on April 4 when Joshua will also headline. I know the North East will love Anthony, a true crowd pleaser who is destined forgreatness.
“We have a unique stable of fighters from Olympians like Joshua and Luke Campbell to world champions, andBradley will fit right in. “I’ve followed him closely since he went pro and I’ve been impressed.”
As revealed in yesterday’s Chronicle, Hearn will move quickly to shoot his new fighter towards a world-title bout.
“He has won all 10 of his paid fights, eight by knockout, and at 28 he’s mature and ready,” said Hearn.
“We won’t leave him hanging around for a British or Commonwealth title fight. The aim is the very top, which means going in against some big names.
” Saunders is equally determined that his limit is the stars.
“I’ll settle for nothing less than being a world champion,” he said.
“I’ve served my time for three years and now this is it. I played at the game as an amateur. Now I’m serious.
“To join Eddie Hearn is a massive move for me. He will open doors and I’m ready. What you will see is a different fighter.”
Geordie Travis Dickinson, who suffered the heartache of having to pull out of his British light heavyweight titlefight on Saturday, attended yesterday’s Press conference on crutches after suffering a stress fracture. His title crack at champion Bob Ajisafe now looks a non-starter with the Sheffield fighter aiming for a crack at the European crown which leaves English champion Dickinson to broaden his horizons in the Spring.
“I’m still dead upset at having to pull out but I know my manager Ronnie Rowe is currently in talks to get me a meaningful fight around the end of March or beginning of April,” said Travis.